“The times they are a changin’.” - Bob Dylan, 1964
The shopping and purchase habits for property owners and managers, whether home buyers, shoppers, business owners or government officials, have slowly been changing over the last decade or so. More often, they gain knowledge independently via the internet or word of mouth. There now exists an opportunity to affect their perceptions by giving them the information they seek, when they seek it. We call this content marketing or educating your audience.
Ultimately, the goal is to increase the probability that you get the first call, attract people to your showroom or improve the probability of closing the deal. Educating your audience positively affects their perceptions / readiness () so you can get more people in your show room, close them more and earn more, faster...
The top 3 goals for content marketing are:
1. Lead generation
2. Thought leadership / market education
3. Brand awareness / recall
Then vs. now
In days gone by, people would read the Free Press, get in their car, visit show homes and talk to salespeople. Pretty logical really.
Today, people of most generations are more informed and aware of a company and the depths of their business before they even show up. Think of car buyers – they likely know the make and model options as well as the sales person they go talk to. While at CES this year, we heard the VP of Nissan note that car buyers today visit 2 dealerships on average versus the 5 from before. Why? Because they are much better informed on what they want.
Property managers or home buyers, while certainly different, have similar motives – get informed and shop before I see a sales guy.
We need to give them the info, news and story that help them, but it’s more than just property specifications.
There is a misconception in business that your marketing's most important function is to promote what you do, or in other words, your services; but the fact is that the most important function of your marketing should be to establish that you are knowledgeable, capable and can be trusted.
Importance of trust
Most people don't do business with people they don't trust, especially when it comes to buying services or a home. Even if you have the lowest prices, if your prospect doesn't trust you, it will be difficult to close the sale. This is the basis for Education-based marketing.
Education-based marketing is a powerful strategy that establishes trust and credibility using educational messages. It is the opposite of traditional marketing, which uses selling-based messages.
People are tired of hearing old and worn-out sales pitches. Barriers shoot up the moment you begin delivering a traditional sales pitch. In contrast, people sit up and listen when you share important facts and expert information that help them make a good buying decision.
Your sales people do this but, for the majority of you, your marketing isn’t.
So, why is educating your audience important?
1. Keeps readers attention,
2. Provides information at a ready status with no expiry,
3. Improves brand loyalty,
4. Positions you as a thought leader,
5. Generates leads without hard selling,
6. Increases indirect sales, and
7. Gives consumers control over brand information.
Educating your buyers (via websites and email newsletters or ads or whatever) gives your prospects and clients free advice and information that they will value in their shopping process. This translates into trust and increased willingness to consider what you are selling.
To learn more on how to educate your audience, contact our office and ask for our free “Educating your Audience” presentation, where in 60 minutes we'll take you through a guide that will help you understand this important marketing strategy.